While there are plenty of ways to play on your own in the High Sierra, there’s a whole host of ways to learn a new activity, like how to catch and release a native golden trout or climb a granite face, or gain new insights into the region with the help of an experienced local guide. Tahoe Adventure Company (in Tahoe Vista on Lake Tahoe’s north shore) offers guided adventures for all ages and abilities year round. Consider a family-friendly snowshoe tromp in winter, or a stand-up paddleboard journey or maybe a full-moon kayak paddle on Lake Tahoe in warmer weather.
In the climbing and backpacking mecca of Bishop, Sierra Mountain Guides offers a host of mega-expert adventures, such as ice climbing and ultra-light backpacking, but can also create an amazing backcountry experience to fit your interests and skill level. In Yosemite National Park, join a ranger-led, multiday adventure trekking between the famed High Sierra camps. South of Yosemite on the east side of the Sierra, saddle up and pack out of McGee Creek Pack Station, the departure point for a variety of horse-packing trips for all ages and abilities.
In winter, advanced skiers and snowboarders looking for the ultimate California challenge should consider Classic Sierra High Route Tour with SWS Mountain Guides. This mind-boggling, 8-day alpine adventure includes snow camping plus climbing (with gear) over seven passes at 12,000-foot/3,657-meter elevation or higher—with huge expanses of untracked, skiable downhill as the payoff.
Snow-covered peaks in winter, gushing waterfalls in spring, wildflower meadows and glistening lakes in summer, vibrant colours in fall—this is a land of dramatic and wild beauty. World-class mountain resorts circling turquoise-blue Lake Tahoe, and at Mammoth Lakes cater to all, with scenic ski trails in winter and trails and vistas in summer.
Yosemite Valley…is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and gold and wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” --photographer Ansel Adams
Yosemite National Park, a World Heritage Site, is here, roughly 3½ hours east of San Francisco. Whether you hike a mountain, ski the steeps, or lounge in a hot tub beneath a canopy of stars, you’ll find your perfect getaway.
Think of a river, and chances are you’ve got your own daydream. Maybe you want to float on inner tubes, or maybe your style is to careen through raucous rapids in an eight-person inflatable raft....
With a pine-and-peak alpine setting and a relaxed and friendly ambiance, this appealing event in Bear Valley, roughly halfway between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, includes performances by outstanding musical artists. Launched in 1967, the festival features a full symphony orchestra, international soloists, and legendary entertainers at pretty outdoor venues. Classical works, opera, Broadway show tunes, and opening weekend acts of contemporary and country music are offered, with past guest artists ranging from the Mamas and the Papas, to Big Bad Voodoo Daddies.
Known for its plunging waterfalls, giant sequoia trees, sheer granite cliffs, and more, you could easily spend weeks exploring Yosemite...